Thursday, August 5, 2010

October solicitations (Previews #263) – part one

Today I bought my first issue of Previews, the August issue with solicitations for October releases. I've been flipping through it all evening. Here are a few comments.


I guess Jim Shooter is really popular or something. He's writing three series for Dark Horse now. I've read the previews of two of them from that Free Comic Book Day comic and they sucked. No reason to check out the third one.

Beasts of Burden/Hellboy. I've very excited about this. I just bought the hardcover Beasts of Burden collection by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, and it is a thing of beauty. They join forces here with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola for a one-shot crossover. (October 27)

I'm mildly amused that there is a Dethklok mini-series coming out, although I'm not really a big enough fan to check this out. (October 6)

I don't really know anything about Fear Agent, but those giant alien creatures on the cover of issue #31 look an awful lot like Metroids. Apparently this is the final arc of the series, so I might have to check out some earlier issues. (October 27)

The Classic Comics Archives Volume 1: White Indian, by Frank Frazetta, looks like an amazing collection. However, I disagree that it is being offered "in an affordable hardcover format." 50 bucks for 200 pages is not exactly what I call a bargain. I'd love to read this, but I can't afford it. Maybe they'll get a copy at the library. (December 1)


Teen Titans #88. It's so tempting to give this series another chance. I like a lot of the characters on the team (especially Conner and Bart) and this issue is described as a "perfect jumping-on point" with a "new direction" and a "new creative team." And part of that team is Nicola Scott, who is a fine artist. The weak link, though, is writer J.T. Krul. After the dead cat incident and the erectile dysfunction in Rise of Arsenal, I don't think I can take a chance on this guy. And especially not on a 4$ book. (October 27)

All the Brightest Day and Green Lantern stuff looks kind of interesting, especially when the solicitations keep hinting at some big mystery unfolding across all the different titles. I just can't afford to follow that many books, so I opted to skip pretty much all of them.

The Flash #7. Art by Scott Kolins!? WTF? Where's Francis Manapul? I hope he's back next month, because he's the main reason I'm reading this title. (Scott Kolins is okay, though.) (October 13)

Of all the Bruce Wayne – The Road Home one shots, I think I'm only going to pick up the ones written by Fabian Nicieza, because there's a good chance they'll tie into his run on Red Robin. That means three issues for me: Batman & Robin, Red Robin (both October 6) and Ra's Al Ghul (October 27). I'm still on the fence about the Oracle one-shot (also October 27), which written by Marc Andreyko. I'm surprised Gail Simone is not writing that one.

Batman: The Return. Written by Grant Morrison, with interior art by David Finch, and setting up the "new status quo," this is the issue that's going to determine whether or not I continue reading Batman books in November. It all depends on this. (October 27)

I'm willing to bet that the first issue of Knight and Squire, written by Paul Cornell, is going to be better and more fun than any of the Bat titles in October. (October 13)

I hate that DC insists on putting a "#1" on all their one-shots. It makes it really impossible to differentiate between actual one-shots and beginnings of new series. Is Batman: Hidden Treasures (note the plural) going to be a recurring Batman title unearthing various "lost" stories from over the years? How many lost stories are there anyway? I think it's hilarious that DC is hyping this as a "legendary" lost Bernie Wrightson story that's being published "at long last," when the reaction from every blogger I follow was, "Oh, I didn't know there was a lot story." Me, I don't even know who Bernie Wrightson is, so that shows how much I know. But everyone seems excited enough about this, so I'll probably at least give it a glance when it's out in the store. You get 56 pages for 5 bucks, and that includes a reprinted story from Swamp Thing #7. (October 6)

The cover for Red Hood: Lost Days #5, by Billy Tucci, is truly horrendous. Ugh! I'm waiting for the trade on this one anyway. (October 6)

All signs point to Superman #704 (October 13) being about child abuse. BARF! Action Comics is the only Superman comics you should be reading right now, and Superman's not even in it. Issue #894 feature Death, from Sandman, and a Jimmy Olsen back-up feature! (October 27)

Felipe Massafera is without a doubt the worst cover artist currently working for DC. Where did they find this guy? I guess Alex Ross wasn't available, so they decided to hire this second-rate plagiarist instead. (It's not like I'm even a fan of Alex Ross's art to begin with.) Massafera shows up on the covers of the Superman: Last Family of Krypton mini-series (October 6) and of the JLA/99 crossover (October 27), and both covers are enough of a turn-off for me not to bother even looking at what's inside. Yes, people do judge books by their covers.

Speaking of which, Supergirl and Damian are on the cover of Superman/Batman #77. Sold! (October 20)

Legion of Super-Heroes #6. This is the last issue of the first story arc, so it's also the issue that will determine whether or not I drop this title. I'm enjoying it so far, but I wouldn't mind being wowed by it a bit more. (October 20)

DCU Halloween Special 2010. According to the write-up, this is "the annual event I've been dying to read." And yet the art is still by "TBD." Get your shit together, DC! This is going to be just as rushed, thrown together and ultimately disappointing as all the 75th anniversary issues were in June. Only this time, I've learned my lesson and will be saving my money. This is a $5 book. (October 20)

Ragman: Suit of Souls. I was somewhat curious about this one-shot, but I'm not familiar with the creative team and I see that it's a regular-sized book selling for $4. Pass. (October 20)

The "DC Comics Presents" line confuses the hell out of me. Why do they all have "#1" attached to the titles if they are basically collections of previously released stories? When you see DC Comics Presents: Superman #1 (October 27), doesn't that make you think it's a reprint of Superman #1? It's not. It's actually a reprint of Superman #179-185 and Superman: Man of Steel #121. Okay... So that's, what, eight issues? And yet the book is only 96 pages. I know I'm not very good at math, but what the hell is going on here?

The other ones are all equally confusing. DC Comics presents: Brightest Day #1 (October 13) is not a reprint of Brightest Day #1. It's a collection of stories from Hawkman, Solo (?), DCU Holiday (??) and Strange Adventures. And the one that collects the Batman and Catwoman: Trail of the Gun mini-series is inexplicably named after the artist – DC Presents: Ethan Van Sciver #1 (October 13) – just to make sure that there is no logical patern or consistency to any of these titles. Whoever is the editor on these books needs to be fired.

Still, there are a few gems to be found here if you're willing to sort through the mess, such as the collection of Batman issues written by Ed Brubaker – DC Comics Presents: Batman #1 (October 20) – and the JLA: World Without Grown-Ups mini-series, here collected as DC Presents: Young Justice #1 (October 27).

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at the Wildstorm and Vertigo titles and then make may way through the rest of the catalogue.


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